Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Brazil to Belarus Paulo Fernando Dias Feres has proposed to refashion a city block of Minsk in the vicinity of Oktyabrskaya Street in the style of the street art festival Vulica Brasil. He came forward with the proposal at a press conference timed to the Independence Day of Brazil celebrated on 7 September, BelTA has learned.
The ambassador noted that he was astonished by the level of cooperation in culture between the two countries when he came to Minsk six months ago and said that he values such cooperation more than economic relations. “Sooner or later trade will be established and will start developing. What is really important is to foster relations between people. Brazil is especially good at soft diplomacy and peace talks,” Paulo Fernando Dias Feres said.
The most notable example of cultural relations between Belarus and Brazil is the festival Vulica Brasil which has been held in Minsk five times. “This is a cultural phenomenon,” the ambassador noted. “Its participants work for free, driven only by their interest. No one takes part in the festival for money. All artists came to the festival because they were interested in the project. The embassy helped to cover the cost of their tickets and other things, but this was just a small contribution. The main work was in the hands of volunteers. This year over 400 volunteers have been engaged in the festival,” Paulo Fernando Dias Feres noted.
“When I walk down Oktyabrskaya Street these days I sometimes find it hard to believe that Brazil which is so far away from here proposed an initiative that changed this place so much. Artists painted over 50 murals in various places in Minsk. They gave an impetus to the refashioning of this area. Since then a lot of bars, restaurants, and creative establishments have sprouted up here,” he said.
One large and well-known architecture firm from Sao Paulo took part in the festival. “The organizers are considering moving away from separate urban interventions to a general plan to refashion the ‘peninsula’ outlined by the Svisloch River in the vicinity of Oktyabrskaya Street. The embassy is willing to pass the finished plan over to the city authorities for its subsequent implementation. This is another Brazilian trait – if we fall in love with something we will not back down,” the ambassador said.
Plans are in place to continue holding the festival every two years.